Basketball Lineups Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
FanDuel NBA Picks and DraftKings NBA Picks - Wednesday, 6/2/21
It's rare to get four-game slates at this point in the playoffs, but we get treated with one here. All of these games are absolutely critical, with Memphis, Washington, and New York fighting off elimination while Dallas and Los Angeles battle in a 2-2 series. That means everyone will be feeling it, and it should make for a wonderful night of basketball. There's a lot to discuss, though, so let's get into it!
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Simmons has been the talk of NBA Twitter with his ineptitude at the free-throw line, but it's overshadowing what's been a pretty good series for the Aussie guard. In fact, the 24-year-old is averaging 13.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 8.8 assists, and 1.3 steals per game in this series. That's led to him scoring at least 35 fantasy points in all four games, generating a 43-point average. That's an amazing total from a guy barely cracking $8K, and we have to believe he's going to do even more with Joel Embiid off the floor. We love that with Washington ranked dead-last in total defense in the regular season while playing at the fastest pace in the NBA.
The former MVP looked lost when he played with the Cleveland Cavaliers four years ago but has completely revived his career in New York. The reunion with Tom Thibideau has done Rose wonders, playing at least 38 minutes in three of the four games in this series. That's not uncommon for a Thibs player, leading to a 38-point average in this first-round. That might look like a flukey stretch on the surface, but he's averaging 31 fantasy points per game across the last two months as well. The simple fact is, he's the primary guard in New York right now and should be looking at 40 minutes again here with New York's back against the wall. The matchup is great, too, with Atlanta ranked 21st in total defense in the regular season.
Luka Doncic is clearly one of the best raw points plays on the board.
I wrote up PG-13 in Game 1 and discussed how silly the playoff struggle notions were, and George has shown that in the first four games of this series. The superstar guard has scored at least 36 fantasy points in all four games versus Dallas, providing a 42-point average across 39 minutes a night. That's the stud we've become accustomed to, and it makes him a good value below $9K. That fact that he's taking 18.5 shots and playing 39 minutes a night is the most important thing, guaranteeing him 30-plus fantasy points. It's not like Dallas' defense is anything to dread either, with the Mavs owning a 16th OPRK against opposing shooting guards this season.
Seth Curry FD - $4700 DK - $4800
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 23.01 DK - 23.92
Curry actually killed my lineups on Monday night, but we're going right back to the well. What we love here is that he needs to step up with Embiid out. If you look at the 12 games that Curry has played without Embiid, he's averaging 25 fantasy points per game in over 30 minutes a night. That would be a brilliant total from a sub-$5K player, especially in such a tasty matchup. Not only does Washington play at the fastest pace in the NBA, but they also surrender the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing SGs as well.
Donovan Mitchell is finally playing a full allotment of minutes for Utah and crushing it.
Kawhi Leonard FD - $10300 DK - $9600
Opponent - DAL
Proj Pts FD - 52 DK - 52.64
It's insane how good Kawhi is in the playoffs. His Toronto exploits are obvious in the mind of every NBA fan out there, and he's returned to that player in this postseason. In fact, The Claw has scored at least 55 fantasy points in all four games against Dallas, averaging 57 DK points per game. Amazingly, that's just below his average in a playoff series against Dallas two years ago, and they simply don't have an answer for him right now. The price has definitely crept up to where it should be, but getting a guaranteed 55 fantasy points from a $10K player is still a good value.
De'Andre Hunter FD - $4600 DK - $4600
Opponent - NY
Proj Pts FD - 29.66 DK - 29.93
Hunter needs a price increase more than almost anyone on this slate. In the first month before getting injured, De'Andre averaged over 31 fantasy points per game. More importantly, he played 35 minutes a night and established himself as one of the focal points of this offense. While injuries prevented him from doing that in the final two months of the regular season, he's shown flashes of that early-season stud recently. He's started in every game of this series and plays 32 minutes a night over the last three games. As long as he keeps doing that, Hunter will easily reach 25-30 fantasy points. He's done that twice already in this series, and that'd make him a heck of a value at $4,600.
Dorian Finney-Smith plays 35-40 minutes a night for Dallas and remains a bit too cheap.
Tobias Harris FD - $8200 DK - $7800
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 41.49 DK - 41.79
Someone needs to take over the offense with Joel Embiid sidelined, and there's no better bet than Toby. When given the opportunity, this dude is an All-Star player, averaging over 41 fantasy points per game in the games Embiid has missed this year. In addition, he's leading the club with a 29 percent usage rate with him off the floor while providing 1.25 DK points per minute. It also increases his rebounding as well, making him a fantastic bet to record a 20-10 game, at the least. That's hard to overlook in such a tasty matchup, with Harris averaging 38 fantasy points per game in his seven meetings with the Wiz this season.
Daniel Gafford FD - $5100 DK - $4700
Opponent - PHI
Proj Pts FD - 31.41 DK - 29.02
Trying to figure out the Wizards center rotation is like solving a Rubix cube but giving Gafford a start in Game 4 is a really encouraging sign. Since acquiring him, he's actually been their best big man, and it's about time that Scott Brooks noticed. The big man is averaging 25.4 DK points per game in fewer than 19 minutes a night since being acquired, and that's one of the best per-minute rates you'll see. He's shown how good he can be in big minutes recently, averaging 32 DraftKings points per game across 22 minutes a night since the season finale. That's all you can ask for from a $5K player, and we love that he won't have to deal with Embiid either.
If you have the salary, Julius Randle is obviously a good play in this must-win game.
Rudy Gobert FD - $8500 DK - $8000
Opponent - MEM
Proj Pts FD - 45.85 DK - 45.29
The center position is a tough cookie to crack on this slate, so riding a guy like Gobert might be the best route to go. We say that because he's a walking double-double and a near guarantee for 30-40 fantasy points. We say that because he's got at least 28 fantasy points in all but six games this year, with every single one of those being double-digit blowouts. That's a good indicator of how reliable this guy is, with Rudy averaging 42.3 DraftKings points per game across his last seven outings. All of that makes him a solid value around $8K, and it's a good play no matter what, considering how weak the center position is.
Dwight Howard FD - $5000 DK - $4300
Opponent - WAS
Proj Pts FD - 23.62 DK - 23.44
Someone needs to step up with Embiid sidelined, and it might be Howard entering into the starting lineup. Even if he's not starting, we expect the former All-Star to play at least 20-25 minutes. If you look at the 15 games Dwight has played at least 22 minutes this year, he's averaging 30.8 DK points per game. That's well above our projection, and many of those happened to be games where Embiid sat. All of that makes him hard to avoid at such a cheap price tag no matter his role, and if you hear that he starts, Howard should be a lock in every lineup out there.
Nerlens Noel has dropped below $5K and can be a great value at that price tag.